Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Here we go folks, time for me to indulge my borderline obsessive window-shopping, which has evolved into web- browsing and generally avoiding all sorts of work/washing up etc by looking at pretty stuff I usually can't afford. Christmas makes it worse as if there's one thing I enjoy more than buying stuff for myself, its buying stuff for other people. In no way is this as selfless as it sounds- it is in fact entirely selfish. I totally get off on finding presents that are perfect for people, then basking in the glory of their utter gratitude and surprise at my brilliance.So anyway; stuff to by for people who like BOOKS:
Penguin Classics Hardback copies designed by Coralie Bickford Smith- not only an excuse to go to the lovely Anthropologie on Regent Street , but a truly wise investment in books that double as artwork.Only problem is you really have to buy them all for the full effect. Same applies to the Faber and Faber poetry classics by Auden, Eliot, Hughes, Plath, Betjeman and Yeats - this time gorgeous black and white covers.
The follow up to the unexpectedly popular 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' is 'Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters' from Quirk Classics.This has to be one of the few books you could get away with buying for a teenage boy without being subjected to the standard glazing over of eyes at the prospect of literature.
The Shop floor project is one of my favourite websites- its stock is always inspiring even if its often out of my price range. Sometimes you can get a real bargain though, snapping up jewellery designers or artists' work before they make it big. Thimble of Hope goes on my wishlist- a book/piece of artwork by Lucy May Schofield- see her other work which includes DIY rabbits as made in the 1940s, and birdie folding notelets. Lots of her work on this site is limited edition- there are only 10 copies of Thimble of Hope.
I am always loaning books to people which , as Adama says in Battlestar Galactica, is a big mistake. His philosophy is that you should always give books as gifts and not expect them back, but I am far too fond of my library for that, so instead I'd invest in a personal library kit. I have to admit, a lot of the appeal does lie in the getting to stamp the date on stuff.
Bookshelves are usually so mundane that I was thrilled to come across these baroque styles from Graham and Green; don't they look amazing? However, once again, I fear you'd have to buy a whole bunch of them for it to look quite so impressive.
For those of you after some serious literary recommendation, I'm going to have to opt for Vladimir Nabokov's 'The original of Laura'- the unfinished work he asked his heirs to destroy,but,well, they didn't. After a lifetime spent wrestling with the decision, Nabokov's son is finally publishing the narrative- a must read for all us 'Lolita' fans.
Finally something totally frivolous- Olympia le Tan has embroidered handbags to look like famous books- there'll be 21 different book covers in total, each a limited edition of 16. I have no doubt at all that they'll be ludicrously expensive, as they're going to be stocked on Colette and at Browns- triple figures for sure. Lolita is apparently included in the range, as well as those pictured below.
I was partly inspired to kick off my Christmas list series with this bookish theme because I'm going on a 'reading weekend' on Friday. Basically this involves going to a lush country house, eating and drinking quite a bit, reading a lot and taking part in bibliotherapy sessions, bedtime stories and bohemian country walks-bliss.The invite even encourages us to lounge around in our pyjamas- as a narcoleptic there is little that makes me happier.Trying to get together all the books I've been meaning to read for ages but haven't had time for- dedicating two whole days to reading feels like such an indulgence, I'm determined not to take any other work with me; though the holiday is technically work itself as I'm writing it up for the big G. Something very odd always about writing travel pieces- you're on holiday, but its actually work.Everyone else is with their mates or family, whilst you stand out like a sore thumb as a big fat loner. Whilst you get involved and try to enjoy everything, you can't get too tipsy and risk not remembering anything and having to explain this to your editor, and everyone does tend to treat you with a certain amount of that special love/loathing reserved for journalists who are going to write about you, but you're not sure what they're going to say. Meanwhile you spent the whole time desperately trying to think of ways in which to transform real events into wittu yet relevant writing. Wish me luck..